Leander Paes is set to partner Sania Mirza in the Commonwealth Games mixed doubles event.
“The names have already been sent and Leander will partner Sania,” the team’s coach Jaidip Mukherjea confirmed to HT.
The deadline for sending in entries was September 3 and the selectors have gone with the ATP rankings of the players to decide on the final combination. Given the friction between Paes and the other doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi, it became a tricky call for the coaches to decide on just who will partner Mirza. After all, Bhupathi won the 2009 Australian mixed crown with Mirza while Paes won the 2006 Doha gold partnering her.
At the time of sending the final entry list, Paes was ranked sixth in the world doubles rankings while Bhupathi was seventh and that proved to be the decisive factor.
In the wake of the decision, Bhupathi has chosen to skip the mixed doubles altogether. Instead of him, Rohan Bopanna will be partnering the 33-year-old Nirupama Sanjeev for the other mixed doubles entry from India.
However, Paes and Bhupathi will be playing the doubles event together.